BBC Broadcaster Stephen Jardine hosts a friendship and cancer discussion at Maggie’s Edinburgh

Wednesday 12 July 2023

Our survey found that 42% of 2,000 people who have a friend with cancer admitted that it upset them too much to see them.

Our ongoing campaign shows the effects a cancer diagnosis can have on friendships.

BBC Broadcaster Stephen Jardine met with Julie, Janet, Michelle, Ali, and Farha – who are all living with cancer – at our Edinburgh centre to discuss the importance of friendship.

Hear what our centre visitors had to say:

You don't want to be told you're strong or powerful or whatever you just want to be here.


Going through treatment during the pandemic, you learn and get used to being in your own company. You forget how to be open and communicate with people specially with big groups. It felt like being a balloon, you come in with great energy ready to talk, then suddenly it bursts and your completely done. You want to be back in your own bubble again and not force conversations, you want to be alone.


You feel so terrible, and it just takes so much of who you are away from you. You have to find ways to make you feel better and when I came to Maggie’s, where I could just talk, and at the hospital I would always love making the doctors laugh. You just want to find connections and that helps you to feel calm. Every time I came to Maggie’s I was just enveloped by love from everybody – the people from my support group, the Maggie’s team, and the volunteers.


I've always said to everybody I didn't look up anybody else's story because everybody's story is different. Everybody's results are different. Everybody's oncologist is different. Everything's different.


I take great pride in my friendships. My friends would call and text and post little things like flowers or say something like just thinking about you. The love that I felt from them was all about the little things. It didn’t need to be anything big; it was just saying that ‘I am thinking about you’ or having those friends that pick up the phone and just let me speak. I think that is a big gesture. Being there and being a sounding board. It’s all about allowing your friend who is going through it the opportunity to speak.


How we can help

If you or someone you know is worried about going on holiday with cancer, we have expert staff in our centres available to help you. Our Benefits Advisors can also help you to access any grants you may be entitled to that will help with the cost of a holiday.  

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